It’s the beginning of May so it’s the start of a whole new Burger Month!
I wasn’t able to do a Burger Month last year because, well, it was 2020 and all of us had more concerns than eating burgers, right? We were more concerned with keeping safe and staying indoors to avoid whatever was happening outside then. But it’s 2021 now! It’s a new year and, while the same reasons as to why we didn’t enjoy the vast outdoors last year is still in effect, I ultimately decided I had to push through with Burger Month this year.
My decision to do so was two-fold. First of all, I really do enjoy reviewing a burger each week for an entire month because, well, I like to try out new burgers! It’s one of, if not, my favorite kind of food so getting to eat a burger because I’m “forced’ to do it for this blog brings me great joy. But my second reason is because, now more than ever, we all need to actually go out and support the food establishment we love. And the best way to support them is to purchase whatever they’re selling. Even if that place is a global corporation like Burger King. Hey, they still employ thousands of people and we need the company to stay open to keep paying their salary!
So to start off Burger Month 2021, I decided to try out Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper which, apparently, is only something that’s not available everywhere in the world.
I have to clarify that the Burger King Plant-Based Whopper isn’t the Impossible Whopper but it does follow the same idea. They’re both burger patties made from plant-based food stuffs but the source of the burger patty is different. The ones you see in the Burger Kings found in the United States and the West are from the Impossible Foods, which is why they call it the Impossible Whopper and it does have a really nice ring to the name. Over here in the Philippines, the patties come from v2food, a plant based meat company in Australia, which is why we got the very plainly named Plant Based Whopper.
As someone who has dabbled in veganism once in a while, I can tell you that most vegan meat substitutes don’t really taste like meat. I can’t tell you the reason why because I’m not a food scientist or whatever you call someone who knows the science behind flavors and food but I can just tell. So when Burger King claims that their Plant-Based Whopper tastes like the real thing, well, this I just gotta check out for myself.
The first thing I do have to mention is that, if you order the Plant-Based Whopper without giving any special orders on how it’s prepared, it’s not a totally vegan product. I can’t tout the bread because, while a lot of mass manufactured bread actually doesn’t have any eggs or dairy products, I can’t speak for the buns Burger King uses. However, I’m pretty darn sure mayonnaise needs an egg or two. So, while Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper doesn’t have any meat, it may have some egg or dairy in them because of the bun and the mayo. Oh, and since this plant-based burger patty is cooked on the same grill as the ones where the regular beef ones are cooked, there’s a good chance some of the beef fat or particles get mixed in with your “vegan” burger. So, if you’re really strict about your veganism, I’m sorry but you really shouldn’t be eating at Burger King, should you?
Another thing I do have to mention is that, if you think just because the burger patty is made out of plants so it’s something you should order to lose weight or something like that, Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper comes in at a whopping 555 calories. While that is significantly lower than the regular Whopper’s roughly 700 calorie serving, the Plant-Based Whopper calorie content is still rather significant. Then again, if you’re on a strict diet, what again are you doing at Burger King?
Now, the ads that Burger King put out do say their Plant-Based Whoppers taste like regular Whoppers. They never said they look like them! I guess if you just do a cursory examination, you may be fooled into thinking it’s your one-on-the-mill Whoppers. Burger King does do a good job in attempting to hide the fact the patty really isn’t beef. The thing even has grill marks on them! However, if you really take a really close look at the patty, you can see the differences. The patty itself doesn’t have the uneven ridges a regular beef burger patty should have. The contrast is even more vivid when you do a cross section of the Plant-Based Whopper as the patty’s insides really doesn’t look all that much like real beef. Then again, who cares what it looks like? As long as it taste like a Whopper, it shouldn’t care, right?
Here’s the thing: contrary to how Burger King is marketing it, the Plant-Based Whopper doesn’t taste like the regular Burger King Whopper. You can actually taste the difference. It actually does taste more like something more like something that was smoked in a barbecue or marinated in barbecue sauce rather than actual meat. There’s the smoky taste that I do associate with Burger King burgers but you can tell it’s not your regular Whopper. There isn’t that meaty flavor you get from, well, actual meat.
However, I also wouldn’t say the Plant-Based Whopper taste bad. In fact, I actually think it tastes pretty good! The barbecue flavor is really good and, for some odd reason, it actually seems it’s a bit more “juicy” than the usually dry patties you get from the regular Whopper burgers. Still, even if it does come off tasting just a little bit more moist, the texture of the plant-based patty doesn’t really have that bite that regular beef patties have. Biting through the Plant-Based Whopper feels a little too clean as the patty doesn’t offer the same mouthfeel.
The really weird thing is that, on some days, I might actually prefer eating the Plant-Based Whopper than the regular Whopper. I’m not sure when those days would be but I can definitely see myself switching from either of them depending on my mood or how I’m feeling that day.
With that being said, I can say that Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper, while not tasting like the regular Whopper, still is something you should try and something I do recommend. It’s not the same but, just because it’s different, that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Have you tried Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!